Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A New Look at Families

The percentage of children living with two parents leaped upwards between 2006 and 2007, rising from 67.4 to 70.7 percent. But this increase was not due to improving relationships between husbands and wives. Instead, for the first time, the Census Bureau is including unmarried couples in the two-parent count. Among the nation's 74 million children under age 18, slightly more than 2 million live with two unmarried parents. These children were formerly categorized as living with only one parent.

Here is the percentage of children living with:

Two married parents, 67.8
Two unmarried parents, 2.9
Mother only, 22.6
Father only, 3.2
No parent, 3.5

Overall, 95 percent of children live with at least one biological parent, 6 percent live with a step-parent, and 2 percent live with an adoptive parent.

Source: Census Bureau, Families and Living Arrangements, 2007

Monday, July 07, 2008

Peak Time of Day

The American Time Use Survey continues to amaze as it lays bare the details of our daily lives. Here are calculations based on time use data collected from 2003 through 2007. Shown below are the times at which the largest percentage of Americans aged 15 or older participate in the following primary (main) activities on an average day:

sleeping, 3 am, 94 percent
working, 11 am, 31 percent
eating and drinking, noon, 18 percent
shopping, 2 pm, 4 percent
food preparation and cleanup, 6 pm, 8 percent
socializing and communicating, 7 pm, 7 percent
watching television, 9 pm, 34 percent

Source: American Time Use Survey

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The End of Early Retirement

Early retirement is no longer the norm. The proportion of workers who collect retired-worker benefits from Social Security beginning at age 62 has fallen sharply, according to a Center for Retirement Research cohort analysis.

Among men, the percentage who start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62 fell from 51 percent in 1985 to 43 percent in 2006. Among women, the figure fell from 62 to 48 percent during those years.

Source: Are People Claiming Social Security Benefits Later? Dan Muldoon and Richard W. Kopcke, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College